Below is an article in the Catholic Sentinel about the Louverture Cleary School, a respected institution in Port au Prince that admits students based solely on merit, not their ability to pay. When we think of development, too often we just think about physical infrastructure. In terms of human development, education is essential. The graduates of Louverture Cleary, many of whom grew up in the most "hopeless" parts of Port au Prince, have gone on to be doctors, engineers, and community organizers. Bélimaire Emmanuel's story below illustrates how critical education is to cultivate a new generation of leadership in Haiti.
In a just world, income level would not be a barrier to an education. The Haitian Education Leadership Program (HELP) is a top-notch initiative that provides scholarships to high performing, disadvantaged students. 100% of HELP graduates are now employed, using their education to promote economic progress and to rebuild the Haitian middle class - an essential component of a functional democracy. The fundraiser will take place at the Haitian Embassy in Washington DC and there will be food, music, and a variety of speakers including two HELP graduates. Take a look at the HELP website and consider attending this worthwhile event.
It was recently brought to my attention that Florida International University offers a Haitian Summer Institute Course each Summer through its Latin American and Carribean Center. The course is designed for individuals who would like to speak Kreyol and understand Haitian history and culture.
I would like to introduce myself as the new Director of Development at the Haitian Education and Leadership Program; I’m pleased to have met some of you at the Haitian art auction in New York last month. If you were not’t able to join us, you can get a flavor of the event by viewing the HaitianXchange video. You’ll see some of the performances that captivated our 150 guests, including the dulcet tones of Manze Dayila and a special appearance by the dance and drumming troupe Ayiti Dans Ansam’m. A picture of Manza Dayila, taken by Tequila Minsky is to the left.
I played too many video games as a child. This was before the age of the X-Box, Playstation, or the Wii. My first system was a VIC 20 and then a Commodore 64. Clearly, I am dating myself! Like most kids, I didnt know anything about international development or humanitarian issues. But video games might have been a good way to raise my awareness and get me thinking.
We often write about the importance of education....for empowerment, for health, for business, for the environment, or in short, for change. Education is complementary, if not neccesary for success in all other sectors. Sadly, education is often neglected.